Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Putting Tables within Margins.

Putting Tables within Margins

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 28, 2012)

Need to know a quick way to make sure a too-wide table fits within the margins of your page? Here's a really easy method, available if you are using Word 2000 or a later version:

  1. Right-click anywhere within the table. Word displays a Context menu.
  2. Click on AutoFit. Word displays a submenu.
  3. Within the submenu, choose AutoFit to Window.

If you are using Word 97, follow these steps:

  1. Select the entire table.
  2. Choose Cell Height and Width from the Table menu. This displays the Cell Height and Width dialog box.
  3. Make sure the Column tab is selected.
  4. Adjust the Width of Column setting so it says Auto. (A quick way to do this is to type any letter in the setting, then click on the down arrow on the spinner.)
  5. Click on the OK button.

The result is that each of the column widths of the table is set evenly, with the entire table fitting from margin to margin.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (81) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Putting Tables within Margins.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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